The Blades were playing in League One as recently as 2016-17, and their progression during this period has been nothing short of exceptional.
A lot of credit of United’s success goes to manager Chris Wilder. Since his arrival in 2016, Wilder has led his side to two promotions in three seasons. Now, Wilder and his players face the ultimate challenge of their respective professional careers. Last time United were promoted to Premier League, it didn’t turn out well for them as they were relegated straight away. Hence, the odds are stacked against the current Sheffield United side.
The Sheffield United side of 2006-07
The side of 2006-07 was managed by Neil Warnock, who suffered yet another Premier League relegation with Cardiff City in 2018-19. Like last season, United had occupied the runner-up spot in the 2005-06 Championship season.
3 – Neil Warnock has suffered his third top-flight relegation, going down with three different teams in three different decades – Notts County in 1991-92, Sheffield United in 2006-07 and Cardiff City in 2018-19. Traverse.
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) May 4, 2019
The Blades did put up a fight in 2006-07 and only got relegated due to an inferior goal difference to Wigan Athletic. In any other season, Sheffield United’s point total of 38 might have been enough to survive the drop. However, they could only manage the 18th spot in the league table.
As one should expect from Neil Warnock sides, the Blades did a decent job defensively in 2006-07. United boasted of the best defence among bottom-five sides with 55 goals conceded during the campaign. Chris Morgan, who also captained the side, was an assuring presence in the defence and he was ably supported by Phil Jagielka from midfield.
The Blades were really poor on the attacking front though. They scored a total of 32 goals in the league season at a rate of less than a goal per game. This goal-total was the second worst in the league that season, behind bottom-side Watford’s tally of 29 goals.
None of Sheffield United players managed to reach double digits in league goals. Rob Hulse, who was a high-profile arrival from Leeds United during the summer window, scored eight goals to lead the goalscoring charts for the Blades. Phil Jagielka and Christian Nade were joint second-best goal-scorers with four goals each.
Even though their campaign ended in relegation, Sheffield United did manage some memorable results in 2006-07 Premier League season.
In the opening game of the season, the Blades managed a respectable 1-1 home draw with Liverpool. The Sheffield club also caused upsets against both North London sides. The 1-0 home win over Arsenal, courtesy of Christian Nede’s strike, was arguably the high point of their season. This game will also be remembered for Phil Jagielka playing in goal for over half an hour due to an injury to Paddy Kenny. The Blades also managed to defeat Tottenham 2-1 at home, thanks to goals from Phil Jagielka and Rob Hulse.